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With pop punk having pretty much become a parody of itself these days, it's difficult to be surprised by anything that anyone playing that kind of music has to offer. So how is it that a bunch of kids from Seattle got together to form a melodic, poppy punk band without sounding hopelessly reactionary? By remembering that taking the edge off in order to appeal to a mass audience is what killed a lot of so-called punk rock to begin with. The raw and unfettered emotional turmoil transmogrified into joyful and cathartic blasts of fun punk rock that this band seems hell-bent on performing doesn't seem one iota faked or wearily premeditated. If anything, Snuggle! is reminiscent of the late, great Teenage Harlets in its ability to make a familiar musical style seem exciting again.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.

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